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FAQs

1. What causes power outages?

New Brunswick has a solid and reliable power system but there are still a number of things that can cause occasional power outages. The top three causes are trees that are blown or weighted down on wires, small animals and lightning. Less frequently, there is equipment failure such as faulty insulators, transformers, switches and other equipment. Other causes can include vehicle accidents and vandalism.

2. How is satisfactory payment history determined?

NB Power uses an automated system that monitors and tracks account activity.  This results in a consistent and objective process in which accounts that are in arrears are tracked and measured for satisfactory payment history.

The time period used by NB Power to measure satisfactory payment history is the most recent 12 consecutive months for residential customer and the most recent 24 consecutive months for general service/non-residential account

Satisfactory payment history is considered to have been achieved unless a customer displays a pattern of behaviour which includes one or a combination of the following during the period of time defined above:

  • The customer has received more than one disconnection notice;
  • The customer has received more than one collection telephone call;
  • More than one cheque has been returned for insufficient funds;
  • More than one payment arrangement has not been complied with;
  • More than one pre-authorized payment has been returned for insufficient funds;  
  • A disconnection has occurred due to non payment; or
  • The customer has consistently made late payments and late payment charges have been applied.

3. Can I pay my electric bill by credit card?

As a part of NB Power’s continual review to reduce costs, on July 1, 2005, NB Power stopped accepting credit card payments.  This decision was made after careful review of the payment options most preferred by our customers.  The review revealed that few customers were using this payment option and the costs of using this option were far greater than any other.

4. What is the cost of a line extension?

NB Power is pleased to work with you to meet your needs. Set up includes no charge for the first 90 meters. If you require more than 90 meters is charged at a set percentage of estimated cost, which is due before the work is done. Please note that you may be entitled to receive some of this money back under our customer contribution program. Please call us at 1 800 663-6272 for further information or visit Policies.

5. How much notice should I give when I move?

The more notice the better but at a minimum; please give one business day for a reconnection and three business days for a disconnection. Reconnections and disconnections only occur during weekdays and an NB Power representative is required to go to the actual location and reconnect, disconnect or read the meter.

6. When I move but still want electricity from NB Power will I be charged a disconnect fee and reconnect fee?

No, you will not be charged a disconnect fee. You will only be charged a reconnect fee that will appear on your first bill.

7. I rent a water heater from NB Power. Who should I call when it stops working during non-business hours or the weekend?

We provide free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week maintenance service and Power Restoration service. Call us at 1 800 663-6272 and we can help.

8. Can you provide me with energy saving tips?

Our Save Energy section includes our Home Energy Centre, information on energy myths and tips as well as the Top 10 energy tips to help save you money. If you want more information about saving money on your electricity bill, you can call us at 1 800 663-6272 to make an appointment to speak with a home energy advisor.

9. How do your rates compare to the rest of Canada ?

We work to keep rates as low as possible for our customers by making decisions for today and tomorrow. Our rates are among the lowest in North America , when compared against other utilities that need to use the similar types of generation facilities to provide power. Provinces that have a natural advantage of hydro generation, like Quebec , are able to offer lower prices to their customers. For more information, visit Rate Comparisons.

10. What is an easment?

An easement is a specific legal right and privilege which one has in the land of another. IT can be created by various means, including but limited to grants, reservations, agreements and prescription. 

11. What does it mean if I have a utility right-of-way on my property?

A utility right-of-way on your property means that one or more utility companies, such as NB Power or Aliant has the legal right to access your property for the installation, operation, maintenance, repair and replacement of their facilities.

12. Who do I call regarding branches from trees laying on my power line?

If you have a tree on your property close to an overhead conductor and you are unsure whether a hazard exists with cutting that tree down, please contact us at 1 800 663-6272 and a customer service representative will visit the site. The customer service representative will:

* Advise you of the clearances that are appropriate to safely remove the tree.

* Prune the tree to a safe distance to allow you to finish the job.

* Schedule the tree for removal by NB Power crews or a tree contractor. (Please note that NB Power is not responsible to pick up the brush.)

Do not take chances pruning trees close to power lines unless you have spoken to NB Power.

13. Recently I called the customer service line and have been asked for credit information and identification. Why?

NB Power arranges most of its customer service over the telephone and before we can enter into a contract with a customer to provide service, we must be able to identify the customer otherwise a legal agreement does not exist.

That is why all residential applicants must provide identification prior to connection or reconnection of service or before payment arrangements are made on an overdue account. NB Power accepts two of the three following three pieces of identification; driver's license, social insurance number and date of birth. The information assists NB Power in identifying customers and reduces the possibility of someone fraudulently using another name to obtain service.

14. Is it OK to attach a clothesline to a utility pole?

No. Attachments such as clotheslines, mail boxes, realty or election campaign signs, "911" address numbers, etc. all create a hazard for line workers. Our line workers have been instructed to remove any non-utility related attachments before climbing the pole.

15. What are the large electrical boxes found in yards or alleys?

This is likely a distribution pad mount transformer. These units serve the same purpose as the grey transformers on poles but are for larger electrical loads such as malls, restaurants, department stores etc. For public safety, they are secured with bolts and padlocks that keep the door in the closed position.

These transformers are completely safe, however, if the unit is broken open due to vehicle contact, it should be avoided because there are electrical components inside that could cause serious harm to anyone coming in contact with the equipment. Please call us immediately at 1 800 663-6272 if you suspect any safety hazards with a pad mount transformer.